- Webcreativity or the success of The Floating Piers
A natural, largely unknown location with its own unique beauty - Lake Iseo in the province of Brescia - became the destination for more than one million visitors over a period of two weeks. All of them wanted to “walk on water” thanks to the most recent installation by Christo: The Floating Piers.
Forty years have gone by since Christo and Jeanne-Claude, who died in 2009 completed some of their artworks in Italy, where they “wrapped” a fountain and medieval tower for the Festival of the two worlds in Spoleto and part of the Aurelian Walls in Rome in 1974.
Like their earlier works, The Floating Piers also plays on displacing the landscape. This time they involved Lake Iseo with a temporary walkway across the water, a floating pier covered in 100,000 square metres of yellow fabric, where pedestrians could walk - for free - from 18 June to 2 July 2016.
Obviously a work like this, where you could enjoy the unique experience of walking on water for 3.4 km, was always going to catch on with the general public, but the thing that amazed the people behind the work was that it quickly turned into a globally significant artistic phenomenon.
We asked Paolo Schianchi, editor-in-chief of Floornature, IUSVE professor and Italian expert in Visual Literacy and Webcreativity to explain this must of summer, which has coloured the profiles of social media, from Facebook to Instagram, in the warm yellow of the “Christo bridge”.
“I believe that the strength of this work lies squarely in the fact that it can be reproduced on the web. I don't know whether it was deliberate or not, but the fact is that Christo has used the web as an iconic-mythical reproduction of the actual work. The thing that I find most fascinating now is that this realisation of land art will live forever not in museums, but on the internet, where its image will constantly appear and reappear. And just think, now that it has been dismantled, anyone who wants to see or to study The Floating Piers won't have to visit a museum or read a history of art anthology, they can just browse through Google Street View or use a web search engine to find it. And this is webcreativity applied to art!”
Project: Christo and Jeanne-Claude, http://www.thefloatingpiers.com/
Location: Lake Iseo, Italy
Images: © Gianluca Giordano